Human resources and information technology might seem like separate entities in any given organization.But by working together, they can make changes that improve a company’s efficiency and bottom line, and take advantage of the company’s most valuable assets: its employees.
“A recent report by Deloitte finds that 72 percent of business and HR leaders believe digital HR is an important priority,” according to QuickBase. “HR sees unprecedented opportunities to streamline operations, improve employee engagement and redefine the work experience through new technologies such as integrated cloud-based systems.”
It can’t do those things alone, though. Here are three ways HR and IT can work together to transform an organization.
- Strategic planning
“The key to any successful HR technology transformation begins with a strategy,” writes Aliah D. Wright for the Society of Human Resource Management. “Make a tactical road map that defines what projects you intend to pursue, the panelists said, and make certain those projects provide solutions to an organization’s problems.”
IT should know about HR’s priorities and how they relate to the organization’s overall goals. And if IT isn’t already familiar with the technology HR uses to do its work, that should change.
- Understanding each others’ challenges
Those working in IT might not understand HR’s goals—but it’s likely that HR doesn’t necessarily understand IT well, either, according to QuickBase. This means understanding IT’s priorities, challenges and even how best to communicate.
“IT sees emails as very inefficient, and HR is known for sending copious amounts of it,” according to QuickBase. Even finding ways around these communication gaps can make the two departments work better together.
- Adopting the right technology
Data is widely considered to be the future of HR, but companies need to make sure they’re using the right systems to harness it.
Choosing and updating these will require both HR and IT expertise.
“HR professionals need to be involved in selecting new software, but are often not included in the process by IT professionals,” Wright writes. “But experts said HR should be mindful that IT still has to ensure the new software works with old systems.”
Understanding each others’ needs and challenges can be key to finding the right solution, writes Michelle V. Rafter for Computerworld. Even agreeing on what IT can’t do will help.
“Some find ways around IT departments that might be too understaffed … to focus on HR projects, perhaps by buying cloud-based workforce analytics tools that require less in-house technical support,” Rafter writes.